I remember it like it was yesterday…I did it, I left the dealership with a brand-new car. A car that didn’t fall apart when I shut the door, no blankets were needed to cover up the ugly seats and I didn’t have to whisper “please” before I turned the key in the ignition. I was so proud. I had just been a poor student a few years back and now I was the proud owner of monthly payments for my brand-new vehicle.
I didn’t sleep well the first night, I was too excited and stepped on the balcony a few times in the middle of the night, just so I could check on it. I had a tiny apartment (aka overpriced shoe-box) in a not so great neighborhood, or otherwise I would have slept outside right in my car. I got up the next morning and looked outside and couldn’t believe my eyes “it was still there”, I didn’t dream it…it was reality. This beautiful car was mine.
Oh, I was so careful. I didn’t even dare to turn the music on, I didn’t need any distraction…I needed to concentrate on the traffic. “Watch out” was my new motto, I was prepared and tried to foresee other drivers mistakes as well…it kept me busy. Unbelievable how some people were driving. Didn’t they know that my vehicle was special?
I loved the smell of my new car, I smelled the leather and something else I couldn’t identify, maybe it was the smell of victory “I did that…I made it happen”. I was so proud, my vehicle was beautiful and oh so special. I think it was the only time in my life that I sent a payment in 2 weeks before it was actually due.
I drove it with pride and I was always careful. I didn’t try to squeeze it in empty parking spots; instead I drove around for the longest time just to find the perfect spot…and I checked everything twice. “Did I lock it?”, “Was the parking spot really safe?”
I left the office and looked for my car…I could not find it. “Oh my Gosh somebody stole it…Where is it?”, I was in panic mode and then I remembered, I parked it in a parking garage. A luxury that I couldn’t afford, but my car was worth it.
This went on for days and weeks. I could see imaginary dust on the dashboard and cleaned it every time I parked the car, even the finger prints on the door were bothering me and I just had to clean them…over and over!
Everything was different a few months later, it was still a pretty car, but the smell of new was gone and I cruised along as I always did. I squeezed it in tiny parking spots, it didn’t get polished every day and I washed it only when needed.
People ask me over and over how it feels to quit smoking. ”How do you adjust?”
It’s like having a brand-new car, the excitement wears off and life goes back to normal.
My life has been dictated by cigarettes for the longest time. “Where could I smoke?” “Did I have enough cigarettes with me or did I have to buy some more”. My Nicotine dependency called me at least every two hours; actually it called me 20 times a day, because I needed to fulfill my needs.
Then I stopped smoking and talking about quitting became my new addiction. “I made it 1 week”, “believe it or not I am 1 months smoke free”. Cigarettes still dictated my life…even though I didn’t smoke anymore. For weeks I continued to think about my accomplishment on a daily base and talked about it nonstop.
The day I quit thinking and talking about it was the day when I became a true non-smoker. I am 7 months smoke-free and it doesn’t really mean too much anymore…and why would it? It’s normal and one doesn’t celebrate normal. I mean think about it, we don’t get up and celebrate the fact that we are alive and healthy, we just are (even though that would be worth the celebration).
I do not care how long it has been since I stopped smoking. I do not care how much money I saved (where is it anyway), it’s just not that interesting anymore.
I quit…smoking is a part of my past. I would have forgotten my 7 months milestone, but this computer app reminded me.
I did it…I finally live the life of a non-smoker and so can you. I know that just one puff or one cigarette could bring me right back to where I started…
…but then, why would that happen? I don’t smoke and I have never been more sure about it than I am right now! The word anymore is not longer used in this statement!